1965

TO LISTEN TO GEORGE JONE'S 50,000 NAMES ON THE WALL

64   66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73

29 Apr 65, Charles Ervin Shelton, Cpt 0-3, Owensville, Ky, USAF, Op 20 & 32, Flying photo recon over Plain of Jars Laos crashed, captured by Pathet Lao, DIED WHILE A POW. (Cpt Shelton had parachuted safely, hid, used emergency radio procedures to make radio contact aircraft, during the rescue attempt, the weather became adverse as he was being forced from the area by enemy forces hunting him. After several days, he continued to make radio contact until captured by the Pathet Lao)

 

                                                      

Notes from The Virtual Wall

Some of what happened to then-Captain Charles Shelton is uncontroversial - but as Paul Harvey would say "There's the rest of the story." On 29 April 1965 Captain Shelton departed Udorn RTAFB in RF-101C tail number 56-0190 for a photo recon mission over Laos. Since his primary target was socked in he and his wingman went on to the secondary target near Sam Neua, which was the headquarters location of the Pathet Lao. Captain Shelton's Voodoo was hit be ground fire and he was forced to eject. He arrived safely on the ground and was in contact with search and rescue forces, but deteriorating weather precluded an immediate pickup attempt. By 02 May the weather had improved to the point that SAR efforts could begin, but an unprecedented 148 sorties and the insertion of a Hmong ground team failed to locate Shelton. At this point the controversy begins. There seems to be little doubt that Shelton had been captured by the Pathet Lao and the concensus is that he was held prisoner in the area of Sam Neua (in company with another American pilot, Captain David L. Hrdlicka who had been shot down on 18 May 1965) for at least several years. There are reports that he made several escape attempts and to have killed three of his captors; there also are reports that four separate rescue efforts were mounted. In one of these efforts the Hmong rescue team is said to have freed Shelton and Hrdlicka, only to have to turn them over to a North Vietnamese Army unit. Shelton is reported to have been held near Tchepone, Laos, between 1981 to 1985, before being taken to North Vietnam. The fact of the matter is that there is no hard information on what became of Shelton - or for that matter, of Hrdlicka. The US government did class both Shelton and Hrdlicka as prisoners of war, and promoted both while in that status, but while the Secretary of the Air Force approved a Presumptive Finding of Death for LtCol Hrdlicka on 21 November 1977 LtCol Shelton was continued as a POW. This was a symbolic gesture rather than one founded on knowledge that he was still alive. Colonel Shelton finally was presumed dead on 14 Sep 1994 at the request of his family

1965

07

10

E-6 SSG

William

Horner

unk

DNH, accident

SVN; Ops-34, 60mm mortar accident, at Long Thanh; the round blew when it exited the tube

10 Jul 65- William Horner, SSG E-6, USASF, MACVSOG, Ops 34, Agent Drop-KIA

 

1965

10

18

O-4 MAJ

Larry A.

Thorne

31542

KIA, BNR (Recovered 03/15/2002)

SVN; HQ's MACV, YC895105, in missing CH-34 on SOG's 1st mission 12k west of A-105 Kham Duc

18 Oct 65, Larry Alan Thorne, Cpt 0-3, Norwalk, Conn; USASF, Shining Brass, FOB#1, Kham Duc, Crashed outside of Da Nang aboard Vietnamese CH-34, MIA long with the Vietnamese Pilot, Co-pilot, and Door Gunner all whom were KIA. Cpt Thorne became missing after inserting the first MACV-SOG mission from Kham Duc into Laos. (Cpt Thorne was involved in the insertion of the 1st Shining Brass Recon Mission ran by Charles "Slate" Petry, Jim "Halo" Smith, and William "Willie" Card. Cpt Thorne was a passenger when the aircraft crashed) (See the story by Al Friend, A Walk in the Indian Camp in the Tales from SOG section). [Thorne is featured on page 35-37, SOG, A Photo History of the Secret Wars by John Plaster]. For more on Larry Thorne, click on Thorne. Also visit Larry Thorne's video clip  (Site 2) (Site 3) (Site 4) (Book)

Larry A Thorne (SF Honor Roll) Larry A Thorne (SF Honor Roll)

18 Oct 65; Harley B Pyles, Maj 04 20TH TAC AIR SPT SQDN, 6250TH TAC AIR SPT GROUP, 13TH AF and Windfield W. Sisson, Cpt, 0-3, USMC, SOG Liaison Officer, 0-1 Bird Dog, FAC, OP 34-Da Nang Air Base,-MIA (Maj Pyle was tasked to orbit the 1st Shining Brass Recon Mission ran by Charles "Slate" Petry, Jim "Halo" Smith, and William "Willie" Card [see Al Friendís story A Walk in Indian Country, Tales From SOG], to keep a watch on the weather and alert fighter aircraft if the team got into trouble. The aircraft crashed in bad weather as they were returning to Da Nang)

28 Oct 65; Robert J Fay, Commander, LTC 0-5, CO of US Naval Advisory Det, Ban Dao Son Tra (Monkey Mountain), Op 3 1-Maritime Studies Branch; (Fatally wounded by mortar round while inspecting compound perimeter (LTC Fay was the commander of SOG Ops 31 and was the first Navy "frogman" killed in Vietnam).  29 Apr 65, Charles Ervin Shelton, Cpt 0-3, Owensville, Ky, USAF, Op 20 & 32, Flying photo recon over Plain of Jars Laos crashed, captured by Pathet Lao, MIA (Cpt Shelton had parachuted safely, hid, used emergency radio procedures to make radio contact aircraft, during the rescue attempt, the weather became adverse as he was being forced from the area by enemy forces hunting him. After several days, he continued to make radio contact until captured by the Pathet Lao)

Robert J Fay

Robert J. Fay

 

 

Webmaster:  sog1rlnoe@aol.com